الآية رقم (19) - قُلْ أَيُّ شَيْءٍ أَكْبَرُ شَهَادةً قُلِ اللّهِ شَهِيدٌ بِيْنِي وَبَيْنَكُمْ وَأُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ هَذَا الْقُرْآنُ لأُنذِرَكُم بِهِ وَمَن بَلَغَ أَئِنَّكُمْ لَتَشْهَدُونَ أَنَّ مَعَ اللّهِ آلِهَةً أُخْرَى قُل لاَّ أَشْهَدُ قُلْ إِنَّمَا هُوَ إِلَـهٌ وَاحِدٌ وَإِنَّنِي بَرِيءٌ مِّمَّا تُشْرِكُونَ

(19) - (Say, "What thing is greatest in testimony?" Say, "Allah is witness between me and you. And this Qur'an was revealed to me that I may warn you thereby and whomever it reaches. Do you [truly] testify that with Allah there are other deities?" Say, "I will not testify [with you]." Say, "Indeed, He is but one God, and indeed, I am free of what you associate [with Him].")

The Prophet (saws) differed with the polytheists on a main creedal issue connected to having faith or being in disbelief, having faith or associating partners to Allah (swt) and having several gods or totally not believing in the existence of a god. When a person differs with others, who are against his stand, he will request evidence from them and a judge to conclude between these differences. The witnesses are considered one of the types of evidence. So, envisage how Allah (swt) Himself is the witness, the judge and the executor. This is the meaning of:

( قُلْ أَيُّ شَيْءٍ أَكْبَرُ شَهَادَةً) (Say, “What thing is greatest in testimony?”): So, Allah (swt) will bear witness of the truth of (There is no God but Allah). The Prophet Muhammad (saws) wanted to convey this deep faith in his heart to mankind through his message, the message of goodness and mercy, as Allah (swt) says:

 وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا كَافَّةً لِّلنَّاسِ بَشِيرًا وَنَذِيرًا وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

(We have sent you (O Prophet) only as a deliverer of good news and a warner to all of humanity, but most people do not know) (Saba: 28)

For he had been sent to all of humanity. Allah (swt) says:

 وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ

(We have sent you (O Prophet) only as a mercy for the whole world) (Al-Anbiya: 107)

Thus, it is impossible that mercy from the sky would be a reason for people’s wretchedness.

(وَأُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنُ لِأُنذِرَكُم بِهِ ) (…And this Qur’an was revealed to me that I may warn you thereby ): Therefore, the establishment of the existence of Allah (swt) is found both in the verses of the Quran and in the universal and scientific signs around us. Allah (swt) says regarding the Quran:

 تِلْكَ آيَاتُ الْكِتَابِ الْمُبِينِ

(These are the verses of the clear Book) (Ash-Shu’ara: 2)

And regarding the universal and scientific signs:

 إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلاَفِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ لآيَاتٍ لِّأُوْلِي الألْبَابِ

(Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the day and night there are signs for people of reason) (Ali-Imran: 190)

(وَمَن بَلَغَ ۚ ) (…and whomever it reaches.): Every single person whom the Holy Quran reaches is included in the warning brought by the Prophet (saws) for all of humanity, because He says: (So that, with it, I may warn you and whoever it reaches.). This is because, the Quran is the Speech of Allah (swt), and the proof for the Prophet (saws) over Allah’s creations regarding the existence of Allah The Creator. The Quran is an everlasting miracle that differs from all the miracles given to the previous Messengers. For their miracles were tangible ones which were believed in by those who saw them. Those who did not see them but only heard of them might believe in them. If not for the Quran informing us of them, we might also not believe in them. For example, if the Quran had not told us about the staff of Prophet Moses (PBUH), which he had used to strike the sea such that it broke into two, or which he had used to strike the rock such that water gushed out, we would never have known about it. Similarly, if the Quran had not informed us of the ark of Prophet Noah (PBUH), the camel of Prophet Soleh (PBUH), the fire of Prophet Abraham (PBUH) and the ability of Prophet Jesus (PBUH) to give life to the dead and to cure the leper and the blind, we would not know of them. We believe in all these miracles through the Book of Allah (swt). Therefore, the ones who are to receive this warning are every person who the Holy Quran has reached, during the time of revelation and up till the time when Allah (swt) will inherit the earth and everyone on it.

(أَئِنَّكُمْ لَتَشْهَدُونَ أَنَّ مَعَ اللَّهِ آلِهَةً أُخْرَىٰ ) (…Do you [truly] testify that with Allah there are other deities?”): This question comes from the Prophet (saws), i.e., “Do you testify and confirm that there is another god besides Allah?”, “Where is this god?”, “What did this other god enjoin or forbid?”. “What did it say?”, “What did it do?”

Observe the intellectual debate here. This is like the way Prophet Abraham (PBUH) had debated with his father and his people regarding the idols and worshipping them, after he had destroyed them, as Allah (swt) tells us:

 وَتَاللَّهِ لَأَكِيدَنَّ أَصْنَامَكُم بَعْدَ أَن تُوَلُّوا مُدْبِرِينَ (57) فَجَعَلَهُمْ جُذَاذًا إِلَّا كَبِيرًا لَّهُمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ إِلَيْهِ يَرْجِعُونَ (58) قَالُوا مَن فَعَلَ هَذَا بِآلِهَتِنَا إِنَّهُ لَمِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ (59) قَالُوا سَمِعْنَا فَتًى يَذْكُرُهُمْ يُقَالُ لَهُ إِبْرَاهِيمُ (60) قَالُوا فَأْتُوا بِهِ عَلَى أَعْيُنِ النَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَشْهَدُونَ (61) قَالُوا أَأَنتَ فَعَلْتَ هَذَا بِآلِهَتِنَا يَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ (62) قَالَ بَلْ فَعَلَهُ كَبِيرُهُمْ هَذَا فَاسْأَلُوهُمْ إِن كَانُوا يَنطِقُونَ

(Then he said to himself), “By Allah! I will surely plot against your idols after you have turned your backs and gone away.” (57) So he smashed them into pieces, except the biggest of them, so they might turn to it (for answers). (58) They protested, “Who dared do this to our gods? It must be an evildoer!” (59) Some said, “We heard a young man, called Abraham, speaking (ill) of them.” (60) They demanded, “Bring him before the eyes of the people, so that they may witness (his trial).” (61) They asked, “Was it you who did this to our gods, O Abraham?” (62) He replied (sarcastically), “No, this one—the biggest of them—did it! So ask them, if they can talk!) (Al-Anbiya: 57-63)

How can they get testification from this god which cannot speak, nor can it issue commands or prohibitions?

(قُلْ إِنَّمَا هُوَ إِلَٰهٌ وَاحِد ) (…Say, “Indeed, He is but one God, ): Meaning, say, O Muhammad, to every person who believes in this message, that Allah (swt) is the One and Only God. He is the Creator and the Manager of this universe. He creates the causes and effects, and He is the One who gives life and death. He will recompense mankind for their deeds on the Day of Standing. If there were any other god besides Him, as they claim, the heavens and the earth would be destroyed. If there were any other god besides Him, it would have expressed itself clearly by informing of its existence.

(  وَإِنَّنِي بَرِيءٌ مِّمَّا تُشْرِكُونَ ) (…and indeed, I am free of what you associate [with Him].”): Here, the Prophet (saws) is addressing the polytheists and the Jews who were present in the Arabian Peninsula and in Medina. These Jews were against him and had stood together with the polytheists and had become allies with them during the battles and in all occurrences. Whereas they were supposed to be the people of a divine message and the Torah had brought glad tidings of the coming of Prophet Muhammad (saws).